I have now ranked the top 100 MLB prospects and all 30 MLB farm systems heading into the 2023 season along with a deeper dive into the best prospects on every National League team earlier this week. Now it is time to wrap up by ranking the top prospects on every American League team.
A quick refresher on a key term you’ll see throughout the team lists: future value, shortened to FV hereafter, sums up the value of a player into one number. It’s graded on the 20-80 scouting scale. A low-end everyday player is a 50, which correlates to 2.0 WAR; a well-above-average position player, No. 3 starter or high-end closer is a 60, or somewhere around 3.0 WAR. I refrain from tossing out an 80 on minor leaguers because that would imply one is expected to be one of the top players in baseball.
While the top 100 is exactly that long, I rank every prospect who gets a 45+ or better FV grade, so that rank is included here in the team lists. For every team, there are reports on the top-10 prospects and then varying numbers of others depending on the strength of the system. Broadly, it’ll be everyone better than a 40 FV, then handpicked interesting prospects who are 40 FVs.
Now on to my 2023 AL rankings.
Jump to a franchise:
AL East: BAL | BOS | NYY | TB| TOR
AL Central: CHW | CLE | DET | KC | MIN
AL West: HOU | LAA | OAK | SEA | TEX
3rd in quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV)
$462.5 million total value
1. Gunnar Henderson, SS, 65 FV (1st on the top 100)
2. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, 60 FV (12)
3. Jackson Holliday, SS, 60 FV (17)
4. Colton Cowser, CF, 55 FV (30)
5. Coby Mayo, 3B, 50 FV (47)
6. Cade Povich, LHP, 50 FV (54)
7. Jordan Westburg, 3B, 50 FV (66)
8. Joseph Ortiz, SS, 50 FV (71)
9. Connor Norby, 2B, 50 FV (92)
10. Kyle Stowers, RF, 45+ FV (144)
11. D.L. Hall, LHP, 45+ FV (152)
12. Heston Kjerstad, RF, 45 FV
13. Dylan Beavers, RF, 45 FV
14. Seth Johnson, RHP, 45 FV
15. Terrin Vavra, 2B, 45 FV
16. Max Wagner, 3B, 45 FV
17. Jud Fabian, CF, 40+ FV
18. Hudson Haskin, CF, 40+ FV
40 FV (9): Drew Rom/LHP, Mike Baumann/RHP, Samuel Basallo/C, Reed Trimble/CF, Frederick Bencosme/SS, John Rhodes/RF, Chayce McDermott/RHP, Leandro Arias/SS, Carter Baumler/RHP
35+ FV (23): Carter Young/SS, Juan Nunez/RHP, Noah Denoyer/RHP, Nick Vespi/RHP, Silas Ardoin/C, Cesar Prieto/2B, Anderson De Los Santos/3B, Collin Burns/SS, Andrew Politi/RHP, Jean Pinto/RHP, Zach Showalter/RHP, Douglas Hodo III/CF, Trace Bright/RHP, Kade Strowd/RHP, Logan Gillaspie/RHP, Yennier Cano/RHP, Justin Armbruester/RHP, Carlos Tavera/RHP, Juan De Los Santos/RHP, Zach Peek/RHP, Maikol Hernandez/SS, Isaac De Leon/SS, Anthony Servideo/SS
2023 Impact: Henderson
40+ FV breakout pick: Beavers
40 FV or less breakout pick: Young
Ranked prospects beyond the top 100
Stowers is a classic power-and-patience, lefty-hitting right fielder with fringy contact skills, and he’s ready for an extended big league look. Kjerstad and Beavers, more recent early picks, are cut from the same cloth. Kjerstad missed 2021 after being diagnosed with myocarditis, then had a late start to 2022 due to a hamstring strain. He used the Arizona Fall League after the season to catch up on reps, and showed off an on-base rate limited by his pitch selection and an average helped by above-average bat control. Beavers is the best athlete of the bunch, an above-average runner with an above-average arm and 65-grade raw power, but he has the least pro experience and a hand load that needs to be toned down.
Wagner and Fabian were two more position players added to the system in 2022, drafted out of college, that fit some of the characteristics of prior Orioles breakouts. Wagner made a huge jump in 2022 at Clemson, going from off the scouting radar in March to the 42nd overall pick in July thanks to a balanced mix of bat control, pitch selection, and raw power, all solid average. Compact physically, with shorter arms and feel for working an at-bat, Wagner also is able to play almost any position on the field. Fabian, meanwhile, rode the roller coaster of prospect status since early enrolling at Florida. He’s a late-count, power-over-hit type — he can be passive, sometimes maddeningly so, at the plate. On the other hand, he’s a plus defender in center field with 25-30 homer upside and the patience to post a big OBP; he fits Baltimore’s favored profile to a T.
Vavra is a big league ready, left-hitting non-shortstop utility type whose hitting is his carrying tool. Haskin is another up-the-middle athlete type with some pop; he’ll likely be a low-end regular or solid fourth outfielder. Hall is a power lefty who sits 95-98 mph with an assortment of plus pitches — his changeup is the best of them — but he will likely be limited to shorter outings by his below average command. Johnson, who was acquired at the deadline with McDermott for Trey Mancini, was a later bloomer as a pitcher who converted from shortstop in college. He’s recovering from Tommy John surgery last fall, but he has three 55- or 60-grade pitches and starter caliber command at his best.
Others of note
Speaking of that Mancini deal, McDermott is a solid prospect in his own right. Another late bloomer who’s a plus athlete, McDermott’s changeup and curveball lag behind his 55- or 60-grade assortment of fastball, slider, and curveball. Rom is a different sort altogether, a command-oriented lefty that sits in the low-90’s. He relies on angles, life, and deception, but his execution wasn’t as good in the upper minors, so he could be more of a sixth starter/long reliever. Baumler had Tommy John surgery after signing for a seven figure bonus in 2020 as a prep from Iowa. He made his pro debut in 2022 and, like Johnson and McDermott, has an above average fastball/breaker combo with components to start but his command needs some work.
Basallo is a maybe-catcher who’s just 18 years old and already has massive raw power. The rest of his game is still below average or raw, but he has a true impact tool. Trimble is a potential center fielder with above-average raw power, but a shoulder injury has limited his pro reps and he hasn’t taken the hoped-for step forward yet. Young, a switch-hitting shortstop with above-average raw power and speed, got a surprise seven-figure bonus late in the 2022 draft after a tough year at Vanderbilt — but he fits Baltimore’s development type, so he’s one to keep close tabs on. Bencosme is a different sort, as he has great feel for the bat head and can play shortstop, but has little power.
Boston Red Sox
22nd in quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV)
$196 million total value
1. Marcelo Mayer, SS, 60 FV (7th on the top 100)
2. Triston Casas, 1B, 55 FV (37)
3. Miguel Bleis, RF, 50 FV (95)
4. Ceddanne Rafaela, CF, 50 FV (127)
5. Blaze Jordan, 1B, 45+ FV (185)
6. Mikey Romero, SS, 45 FV
7. Nick Yorke, 2B, 45 FV
8. Eddinson Paulino, SS, 45 FV
9. Bryan Mata, RHP, 40+ FV
10. Brandon Walter, LHP, 40+ FV
40 FV (18): Roman Anthony/RF, Nathan Hickey/C, Chris Murphy/LHP, Connor Wong/C, Wilyer Abreu/RF, Enmanuel Valdez/SS, Wilkelman Gonzalez/RHP, David Hamilton/SS, Cutter Coffey/SS, Gilberto Jimenez/CF, Matthew Lugo/SS, Brooks Brannon/C, Chase Meidroth/2B, Victor Santos/RHP, Allan Castro/LF, Dalton Rogers/LHP, Noah Dean/LHP, Chih-Jung Liu, RHP
35+ FV (20): Alex Binelas/3B, Eduardo Lopez/CF, Niko Kavadas/DH, Andy Lugo/CF, Tyler McDonough/2B, Angel Bastardo/RHP, Brainer Bonaci/SS, Juan Chacon/CF, Johnfrank Salazar/3B, Freili Encarnacion/SS, Luis Perales/RHP, Marvin Alcantara/2B, Juanfran Garcia/C, Max Ferguson/2B, Corey Rosier/CF, Kaleb Ort/RHP, Ryan Fernandez/RHP, Ronaldo Hernandez/C, Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz/RHP, Zach Kelly/RHP
2023 Impact: Casas
40+ FV breakout pick: Romero
40 FV or less breakout pick: Anthony
Ranked prospects beyond the top 100
Rafaela was a revelation in 2022, with his sizable raw tools standing out immediately, but his 40% chase rate is tied with Ronny Mauricio of the Mets for worst among players on my top 150 prospects list. Rafaela is a plus runner, defender (at multiple positions), and thrower with plus bat control who also hit 21 homers last year — despite being 5-foot-8. He has considerable upside and might be a top-100 prospect if he can post a month with a 10% walk rate, but I can’t put him on my list yet after just one strong season.
Jordan has long been a famous hitter because he developed plus raw power early in high school and is a really good hitter, but he slid a bit relative to other prospects by draft time because he’s a righty-hitting first baseman. He has continued hitting to the point that it’s pretty obvious he’s going to be at least a big league corner platoon type. Romero has also been famous among scouts for awhile because of his sweet lefty swing, solid raw power and chance to stick at shortstop. He might end up a second baseman, depending on how he recovers from a shoulder issue that sapped his arm strength in 2022. If he does, the question is how much power he’ll have as he has shown an opposite-field approach in games but has the raw juice for 15-20 homers with a swing adjustment.
Yorke was a surprise first-rounder in 2020 as a smallish second baseman with a standout hit tool, strong approach, and sneaky power. He’s still largely that and has hit a bit more than expected, but is a polarizing prospect to many, possibly because he went a round higher than expected in the draft, so expectations have varied by the source. Paulino took a step forward in 2022, showing a plus hit tool in his full season debut and in-game power that could be average at maturity. His ultimate upside is the question, with his position within the infield and his power output the two main issues.
Mata had Tommy John surgery in 2021 after the pandemic caused him to miss all of 2020, so he returned to the mound in 2022 back on the doorstep of the big leagues but rustier than his last pro pitch in 2019. He still sits in the upper-90s and his heater plays a tick below it’s velocity due to shape and command, but it’s still a plus pitch. On the right day Mata has four of those so he’ll likely find a multi-inning role of some sort with a likely 2023 big league debut. Walter has three above average pitches and the command to start, but missed the back half of 2022 with a neck/back issue; he hasn’t thrown 90 innings in a pro season yet.
Others of note
Anthony was a big name on the high school circuit as one of the most productive power hitters in his age group, but a tough summer showcase season dinged his draft status. He came out of the gates hot in 2022, with high-profile games against Florida prep powers and at the highly attended NHSI tournament in North Carolina. He had buzz as high as the compensation round but the Red Sox landed him at the 79th overall pick for $2.5 million, equivalent to the last pick of the first round. His profile is an average hit tool and average defense in right field, but potentially 30 homers if it all clicks.
The Red Sox collected some other interesting position players in their 2022 draft: Coffey, Brannon and Meidroth. Coffey was a polarizing prospect due to doubts about his hit tool. He also has pro potential on the mound, but Boston sees him as an infielder, probably a third baseman, with above-average power potential. Brannon had no profile entering the spring, but put up huge numbers while also having plus raw power and the tools to stick behind the plate. He’s a high-variance type but might have the most upside of this group. Meidroth has had arguably the biggest post-draft rise and was brought up in conversations by pro scouts as examples of finding value in the middle rounds. He’s a 5-10, hit-over-power second baseman, so the upside isn’t enormous, but he posted more walks than strikeouts and four homers in 19 games at Low-A. Romero and Yorke are broadly this type of player with middling physicality and defensive chops but very advanced hit tools.
Rogers and Dean are both college lefties from the 2022 draft with some relief risk but intriguing profiles. Rogers gets down the mound and slings from a lower slot, allowing his raw stuff (91-94 mph, solid slider/changeup) to play up. Dean is a more traditional power lefty who works in short stints with a mid-90s heater and two effective breaking pitches, but below-average command. Gonzalez was exposed and unpicked in the Rule 5 draft, but could pitch his way onto the 40-man roster in 2023 due to his 93-96 mph heater and potential plus curveball. Liu signed out of Taiwan with limited innings on his arm and relief risk due to command, but has three above-average pitches. Castro is a sleeper position player from the international ranks to monitor in 2023. He’s still a teenager and has well-rounded above-average offensive potential in a corner outfield profile.
New York Yankees
17th in quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV)
$278 million total value
1. Anthony Volpe, SS, 60 FV (3rd on the top 100)
2. Jasson Dominguez. CF. 55 FV (28)
3. Oswald Peraza, SS, 55 FV (34)
4. Austin Wells, C, 50 FV (58)
5. Trey Sweeney, SS, 50 FV (88)
6. Everson Pereira, CF, 50 FV (101)
7. Roderick Arias, SS, 45+ FV (168)
8. Spencer Jones, RF, 45+ FV (184)
9. Brando Mayea, CF, 45 FV
10. Will Warren, RHP, 45 FV
11. Drew Thorpe, RHP, 40+ FV
12. Yoendrys Gomez, RHP, 40+ FV
40 FV (15): Deivi Garcia/RHP, Randy Vasquez/RHP, Luis Gil/RHP, Antonio Gomez/C, Alexander Vargas/SS, Keiner Delgado/SS, Jerson Alejandro/RHP, Andres Chapparo/3B, Elijah Dunham/RF, Brendan Beck/RHP, Enmanuel Tejeda/SS, Greg Weissert/RHP, Richard Fitts/RHP, Trystan Vierling/RHP, Jhony Brito/RHP
35+ FV (26): Brock Selvdige/LHP, Josh Breaux/C, Brandon Lockridge/CF, Agustin Ramirez/C, Clayton Beeter/RHP, T.J. Rumfield/1B, Anthony Garcia/1B, Fidel Montero/CF, Christopher Familia/LF, Angel Benitez/RHP, Jared Serna/2B, Sean Hermann/RHP, Engelth Urena/C, Jordarlin Mendoza/RHP, Matt Krook/LHP, Anthony Seigler/C, Carlos Lagrange/RHP, Osiel Rodriguez/RHP, Juan Carela/RHP, Anthony Hall/RF, Jack Neely/RHP, Omar Gonzalez/RHP, Felix Negueis/CF, Hans Montero/SS, Luis Serna/RHP, Henry Lalane/LHP
2023 Impact: Volpe
40+ FV breakout pick: Pereira
40 FV or less breakout pick: Alejandro
Ranked prospects beyond the top 100
Sweeney, Pereira, Arias, Jones and Mayea are tightly packed in these rankings and were put in a number of orders by sources, so it’s instructive to think of them as a group rather than one being clearly better than another. Pereira’s career minor league line while being young at every level he’s played is .271/.346/.484 with 38 homers and 36 stolen bases in 210 games. His contact skills play a bit below average given his swing and approach, but his pitch selection is good. His raw power is plus, already measuring above major league average in every notable power metric at age 21. He’s an above-average runner who is OK in center field but fits best in a corner, where his above average arm plays.
Arias and Mayea were the Yankees’ top signings in the past two international periods, with Arias the clear best prospect in last year’s class and Mayea behind only San Diego’s Ethan Salas in this year’s group. Arias has all the tools you’d want to see at short — 6-2 switch hitter with above average speed, glove, arm strength, bat control, and power potential — so you can see why he was ID’d as elite years before he signed. His pro debut in the DSL was solid, but a 33% strikeout rate was a bit higher than expected; I wouldn’t worry much about surface numbers until he gets to Low-A. Mayea is 5-11 but an outstanding athlete with great feel for the game. Scouts will hang plus grades on his bat control, bat speed, foot speed, defense in center field, and arm strength, with power potential maybe a tick below that, but it’s obviously very early.
Jones was the Yankees’ first-round pick last summer and even before that drew some parallels to Aaron Judge as a 6-7 power-hitting corner outfielder with plus athleticism. He made it to the No. 25 pick because of concern about swing and miss due to the length of his arms and his power-focused approach, but he also didn’t fully tap into his plus-plus power in games due to a flatter-planed swing. That’s more nitpicking than anything and seemed a bit silly to me, so of course he had a loud pro debut hitting four homers in 25 games with a lower strikeout rate than in college. I don’t want to jump the gun here, but Jones is trending like he’ll be a top 100 prospect at this time next year and will lead other scouting departments having some uncomfortable conversations about how they evaluate outliers.
Warren was an intriguing eighth-round pick out of Southeastern Louisiana in 2021 who was one of the last cuts from the list last year since he hadn’t yet thrown in an official game despite some positive buzz from Yankees sources because he was throwing 98 mph and spinning a 3200 rpm breaker. Well, I should’ve included him because he threw almost 100 innings in Double-A and looks like he could be a big leaguer in short order. He sits 92-94 and has four above-average pitches, headlined by a plus slider, and projects for average command.
Thorpe was the Yankees’ second-round pick last summer and, like 2021 second-round pick Brendan Beck, was a strike-throwing West Coast college performer. Thorpe has a little more raw stuff, getting his heater into the mid-90s at times, and a knockout plus changeup as his out pitch. Gomez has burned two option years on the 40-man roster due to a late 2021 elbow surgery. He works 92-96 with some lift, an above-average slider and fringy command.
Others of note
There are one or two players in every international signing class who are clearly underrated by their presigning scouting buzz and/or bonus. Alejandro is probably the best version of that this year, as he had late attention from rival clubs for roughly double the $400,000 bonus he got from the Yankees. That makes sense, given what I heard from multiple sources and saw on video: a 6-5, 235-pound 16-year-old righty who has been up to 98 mph with near 100% efficiency on his four seamer, a solid breaking ball and a now plus changeup that dives at the plate. He’s a good athlete with a enough feel for location now that you can dream on him developing as a starter.
Some other arms from the 2022 DSL Yankees who are worth mentioning here: Lagrange (6-foot-7, sits 95-97 and up to 101 mph, delivery isn’t bad), Benitez (also 6-7, sits 93-96, touches 98 mph and changeup flashes plus), Lalane (not kidding but also 6-7, lefty up to 96 mph), Gonzalez (6-4, 90-93, touching 95 with near 100% spin efficiency), and Mendoza (only 6-feet and more well-rounded than these others).
Hermann was an under-the-radar find as a 14th-round pick in 2021. He carved up the best Tampa-area high school competition (120 strikeouts, 2 walks), but was never heavily scouted because he wasn’t a big showcase name. He made his pro debut in 2022, dominating the complex league then handling himself in a taste of Low-A while showcasing three above-average pitches and starter-level command.
Tampa Bay Rays
11th in quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV)
$245 million total value
1. Curtis Mead, 3B, 55 FV (31st on the top 100)
2. Carson Williams, SS, 55 FV (39)
3. Taj Bradley, RHP, 50 FV (60)
4. Kyle Manzardo, 1B, 50 FV (83)
5. Junior Caminero, 3B, 50 FV (97)
6. Willy Vasquez, SS, 50 FV (129)
7. Jonathan Aranda, 1B, 45+ FV (148)
8. Mason Auer, CF, 45+ FV (194)
9. Osleivis Basabe, SS, 45 FV
10. Xavier Isaac, 1B, 45 FV
11. Mason Montgomery, LHP, 45 FV
12. Cooper Kinney, 3B, 45 FV
13. Carlos Colmenarez, SS, 40+ FV
14. Cole Wilcox, RHP, 40+ FV
40 FV (18): Rene Pinto/C, J.J. Goss/RHP, Greg Jones/SS, Alika Williams/SS, Brailer Guerrero/RF, Brock Jones/CF, Ryan Cermak/CF, Chandler Simpson/CF, Evan Reifert/RHP, Heriberto Hernandez/LF, Ryan Spikes/SS, Nick Bitsko/RHP, Colby White/RHP, Keyshawn Askew/LHP, Ronny Simon/2B, Ian Seymour/LHP, Dominic Keegan/C, Calvin Faucher/RHP
35+ FV (26): Kameron Misner/RF, Tristan Peters/LF, Michael Mercado/RHP, Dru Baker/CF, Gary Gill-Hill/RHP, Alexander Ovalles/1B, Kevin Kelly/RHP, Miguel Tamares/SS, Trevor Martin/RHP, Antonio Jimenez/LHP, Tanner Murray/SS, Blake Hunt/C, Nick Schnell/CF, Shane Sasaki/CF, Austin Shenton/3B, Over Galue/RHP, Ben Peoples/RHP, Logan Workman/RHP, Angel Mateo/CF, Manuel De La Rosa/LHP, Chris VIllaman/LHP, Marcus Johnson/RHP, Jalen Battles/SS, Franklin Dacosta/LHP, Austin Vernon/RHP, Yoniel Curet/RHP
2023 Impact: Mead
40+ FV breakout pick: Kinney
40 FV or less breakout pick: Reifert
Ranked prospects beyond the top 100
Vasquez is my gut-feel guy in this group because he has above-average bat control and in-game power with pitch selection that’s just one step behind. He’s an above-average runner and thrower who could play a lot of positions but I think he’ll fit best at third base. If he can add a little more loft in his swing, he could have a breakout season. Speaking of which, Auer had his in 2022 (15 homers, 48 stolen bases) turning plus bat speed, power, speed and arm grades into a big year across both A-Ball levels. Basabe is also a plus runner and fits somewhere up the middle defensively, with plus-plus bat control as his carrying tool. Kinney is a pick to click of mine from the 2021 draft who missed the 2022 season with shoulder surgery; I think he’ll be a plus hitter with 20-homer upside at third base. Colmenarez was one of the top prospects in the 2021 signing class. He is still a good athlete who can play short and work the count, but his offensive upside seems to have slipped a notch.
Isaac was a surprising late first round pick last summer as a burly high school first baseman, a type that doesn’t usually run up the board late in the draft process. The Rays were conscious of a couple clubs targeting him before their second pick, so they acted decisively to land him. The rosier projections see a plus hitter with plus pitch selection and plus-plus raw power, but an injury kept him from the summer showcase circuit, so we mostly just had a spring against mediocre high school competition to judge him on. Aranda fits best as a first baseman but his last two seasons have scouts thinking he may draw plus grades for bat control, pitch selection, and in-game power. This puts him squarely in the fun to watch hitting robot conversation with Michael Busch, Edouard Julien, and a few others.
Montgomery is a good example of what the Rays are good at when it comes to developing pitchers. He was a name in high school who never quite blossomed at Texas Tech and went in the sixth round in 2021. His stuff and the utility of it have improved in pro ball, and he now looks like another classic Rays left-hander with three-above average pitches and enough command to fit in a few different roles. Wilcox was acquired from San Diego in the Blake Snell trade. He has starter command and has shown three plus pitches, but basically never more than two of them at any given time. He had a 2021 Tommy John surgery and returned late in 2022, so I’m reserving judgment until we see what he does in 2023.
Others of note
Guerrero was the Rays’ big international signing last month and he will need to live up to his strong hit tool since he will likely be a corner outfielder. Jones was a pick to click in 2022 … who did not click. He posted a career-worst strikeout rate as a 24-year-old in Double-A. He is still a dynamic athlete who could play anywhere on the field, be a menace on the basepaths and maybe have things click at the plate at any time, but I’ve also been saying that for about five years now. The Rays took a pair of intriguing, tooled-up college center fielders in the second round in the 2022 draft in Cermak (jacked 80-grade runner who also has 60 raw power but with a funky swing and faced mid-major competition) and Simpson (a more conventional 80-grade runner with very little power, but outstanding feel for contact and approach) were
Reifert has a bananas slider that drew a 70% whiff rate last year. His fastball is a pretty typical 93-95 mph pitch that is basically average now, but get used to seeing his slider on Pitching Ninja. Askew is my favorite of a group of lower-slot crafty lefties in a system that has a propensity to produce solid big leaguers in various roles who even I’ve never heard of until they are carving up hitters in the majors. Bitsko was a fascinating prospect going into the 2020 draft because of his sky-high ceiling and lack of recent track record. He had shoulder surgery soon after going 24th overall and subsequent soreness kept him from making his pro debut in 2022. He was good, but not quite back to his old self so 2023 will be the year to see if he can regain his prior form.
Toronto Blue Jays
17th in quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV)
$149.5 million total value
1. Ricky Tiedemann, LHP, 55 FV (25th on the top 100)
2. Orelvis Martinez, 3B, 50 FV (67)
3. Brandon Barriera. LHP, 45+ FV (161)
4. Leo Jimenez, SS, 45+ FV (174)
5. Hayden Juenger, RHP, 45+ FV (183)
6. Tucker Toman, 3B, 45 FV
7. Addison Barger, 3B, 45 FV
8. Yosver Zulueta, RHP, 45 FV
9. Adam Macko, LHP, 45 FV
10. Sem Robberse, RHP, 45 FV
11. Cade Doughty, 3B, 40+ FV
12. Adrian Pinto, 2B, 40+ FV
40 FV (13): Enmanuel Bonilla/RF, Manuel Beltre/SS, Estiven Machado/2B, Josh Kasevich/SS, Otto Lopez/2B, Gabriel Martinez/RF, Dahian Santos/RHP, Damiano Palmegiani/3B, Alan Roden/LF, Trent Palmer/RHP, C.J. Van Eyk/RHP, Dasan Brown/CF, Alex De Jesus/3B
35+ FV (13): Irv Carter/RHP, Luis Meza/C, Rafael Ohashi/RHP, Hagen Danner/RHP, Nathan Lukes/CF, Spencer Horwitz/1B, Chad Dallas/RHP, Zach Britton/C, Kendry Rojas/LHP, Alejandro Melean/HP, Davis Schneider/3B, Tanner Morris/3B, Mason Fluharty/LHP
2023 Impact: Tiedemann
40+ FV breakout pick: Pinto
40 FV or less breakout pick: Roden
Ranked prospects beyond the top 100
Barriera drew attention before the draft due to the unique way that he approached his workload late in the spring, opting to not pitch like a running back who skips his bowl game before the NFL draft. He got even more support than I expected as a prospect when I sent around an extended top 100 this offseason, with a number of sources saying he is on their internal top 100. All four of his pitches flash plus and he shows all the starter traits at times, but some scouts worry about a relief risk.
Toman was another of my favorite players in the draft, a switch-hitting infielder with plus power and a proven bat. He got $2 million in the second round because some teams worried that he is a future corner outfielder with some hit tool risk, but I think he’ll hit and stay at third base. Doughty (solid-average hit/power combo, probably a third baseman) and Kasevich (plus hitter, good approach, limited power and probably not a shortstop) were two vanilla but solid college infielders from the 2022 draft class. Barger is another solid infielder, but more like Toman as a second or third baseman who now projects for above-average power after hitting 26 homers in a breakout 2022 season. Jimenez is a solid shortstop who can really hit but has little power while Pinto, acquired from Colorado last year, is a 5-6 second baseman who also can really hit but also has very little power.
Juenger took a big step forward in 2022, throwing 98.2 innings across Double-A and Triple-A as a 21-year-old. His fastball, which he throws two-thirds of the time, sits 94-96 mph and his changeup and slider are both above average. The main question going forward is if his command will be good enough to start (I say yes). Zulueta appeared in Triple-A last season and has three above-average pitches, but his command is a notch worse so he’s likely a reliever with the stuff to go multiple innings. Macko went in the seventh round in 2019 and has thrown just 95 pro innings since then due to injury. He’ll flash four above-average pitches and decent control, but has below-average command. Robberse topped out in the 80s when signed out of the Netherlands in 2019 and now sits 90-92 with a deep, solid-average arsenal and the command to make a number of big league starts.
Others of note
Bonilla is my fifth-ranked prospect in the international signing period that opened last month. Most scouts say he’s a slam-dunk right fielder, though Toronto thinks he has a chance to stay in center field. His bat should profile in either spot, with a shot for above-average hit and power tools and that power could possibly be plus or more at maturity. Roden is almost the exact opposite player, as a now 23-year old first baseman/left fielder with one above-average tool. But that hit tool is a 70 and his pitch selection might also be a 70, so he’s a likely big leaguer who may slice through the minors with a limited upside.
Santos fits at the top of the pitchers in this range as he’s still a teenager, has three above-average pitches and enough athleticism to project improvement in his command. Palmer gets good life and angle on his 91-94 mph sinker while his slider and change both flash above-average as well, but his command is a notch below average. Carter was a power prep righty who made progress in the spring of 2021 by using his athleticism to throw better strikes, eventually signing for $850,000 in the fifth round. He works 92-94 with an above average-flashing slider and changeup, but it’s unclear so far what role suits him best at the upper levels.
Chicago White Sox
22nd in quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV)
$138.5 million total value
1. Colson Montgomery, SS, 60 FV (15th on the top 100)
2. Bryan Ramos, 3B, 50 FV (48)
3. Oscar Colas, RF, 45+ FV (170)
4. Noah Schultz, LHP, 45 FV
5. Lenyn Sosa, SS, 45 FV
6. Jose Rodriguez, SS, 45 FV
7. Peyton Pallette, RHP, 40+ FV
8. Cristian Mena, RHP, 40+ FV
9. Sean Burke, RHP, 40+ FV
10. Norge Vera, RHP, 40+ FV
40 FV (9): Jonathan Cannon/RHP, Yoelqui Cespedes/CF, Wes Kath/3B, Gregory Santos/RHP, Kohl Simas/RHP, Ryan Burrowes/SS, Jared Kelley/RHP, Nick Avila/RHP, Tanner McDougal/RHP
35+ FV (13): Wilfred Veras/1B, Carlos Perez/C, Matthew Thompson/RHP, Eric Adler/RHP, Franklin German/RHP, Jordan Sprinkle/SS, Bennett Sousa/LHP, A.J. Alexy/RHP, Yolbert Sanchez/SS, Luis Mieses/RF, Nicholas Padilla/RHP, Jason Bilous/RHP, Caleb Freeman/RHP
2023 Impact: Sosa
40+ FV breakout pick: Schultz
40 FV or less breakout pick: Cannon
Ranked prospects beyond the top 100
Colas was hyped as the next great Cuban power hitter for years because of a strong performances in his home country and time playing in Japan. He eventually signed with the White Sox just over a year ago for $2.7 million. He’s a corner-only fit with the plus arm to fit in right field (he is also a former pitcher), strong athleticism for a big guy, and easy plus power that profiles in the middle of a lineup. As you might get used to hearing throughout this list, his pitch selection is below average and could undermine his inherent feel to hit. How he makes this adjustment will dictate if he’s a one-dimensional role player or strong starter.
Schultz isn’t the typical first-round prep pitcher launching mid-90s fastballs from a high-three-quarter slot but he still has an exciting upside. He is 6-7, slinging from a low-three-quarters slot with heavy life and the en vogue flat plane. After being seen extensively over the summer, he came out a bit late last spring due to illness combined with the Illinois weather and was sitting in the mid-90s with below-average command. By the time he reached his stride, the prep season was over and he was pitching in a college summer league flashing three plus pitches and the components for starter-quality command. If he never got ill and pitched in a warmer state, he might have been a consensus top-10 pick and thus could take off in 2023 with a clear platform to showcase his unique ability.
Vera, on the other hand, is very much that typical young pitching prospect as a 6-4 projectable righty with mid-90s velo, feel for a good breaking ball and below-average command. Pallette gave off Walker Buehler vibes as a rocket-armed smallish righty with an easy-plus breaking ball as a sophomore at Arkansas, but he missed his whole draft spring due to Tommy John surgery. He is another pitcher who could take a huge step forward in a pro environment.
Sosa and Rodriguez are both tweener middle infielders who might fit better at second base, have plus bat control, below-average pitch selection and below-average power. Burke is on the starter/reliever borderline as he sits 93-95 mph with good lift to the pitch, two solid breaking balls and a rarely used changeup along with fringy command. Mena reached Double-A as a teenage starter and all three of his pitches and command project to be average or a bit above, but how much they improve will dictate if he’s a utility arm or true starter.
Others of note
You can either look at it as not falling into the endowment effect or an indictment of their own pitching development that the back of the White Sox’s 40-man is full of pitchers developed by other clubs who were generally available on waivers or in small trades. Santos (heater plays below the 98-100 mph velocity, slider is a 65 or 70) and Avila (94-97 mph with life, above-average cutter and slider) were acquired from the Giants, German (heater plays below the 96-99 mph velo, slider and curve both a tick above average) from the Red Sox, Padilla (92-95 mph, two fastball, two above-average breakers) from the Cubs, and Alexy (94-96 mph heater, four-pitch mix plays solid-average) from the Rangers system though technically was claimed off waivers from the Twins, whom he never pitched for. Padilla’s six innings at the end of last summer are the only that this group has thrown in the White Sox’s organization.
Cespedes, 25, is of note because of his last name/older brother and big raw tools (plus raw power, plus speed, plus-plus arm strength) but I’m on the low-end of projection for him due to his 45% chase rate. To put that in context, that is the worst chase rate (i.e. swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone) of any hitter ranked on any of these lists, minimum 100 balls in play last season. Scouts agreed Kath had real raw power and feel to get to it in games before the 2021 draft, but his contact ability has come in below expectations while his defensive ability has been better than expected.
Cannon looked like a late first-rounder for his last two seasons at Georgia, but concerns about forearm soreness moved him down draft boards. If he stays healthy, he has above-average-to-plus stuff and starter-level command at times. McDougal was a personal favorite projection arm in the 2021 draft before he missed the 2022 season due to Tommy John surgery. He is 6-5 with athleticism and three potential above-average pitches. Sprinkle had some compensation-round buzz early in the 2022 spring then fell apart down the stretch. He is a plus athlete with some feel to play shortstop and make contact at the plate.
5th in quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV)
$303 million total value
1. Daniel Espino, RHP, 60 FV (18th on the top 100)
2. Gavin Williams, RHP, 55 FV (33)
3. Logan Allen, LHP, 50 FV (53)
4. Brayan Rocchio, SS, 50 FV (64)
5. George Valera, RF, 50 FV (86)
6. Bo Naylor, C, 50 FV (91)
7. Tanner Bibee, RHP, 50 FV (93)
8. Angel Martinez, SS, 50 FV (117)
9. Tyler Freeman, 2B, 50 FV (122)
10. Petey Halpin, CF, 45+ FV (164)
11. Chase DeLauter, RF, 45 FV
12. Gabriel Arias, SS, 45 FV
13. Justin Campbell, RHP, 45 FV
14. Juan Brito, 2B, 40+ FV
15. Jhonkensy Noel, 1B, 40+ FV
16. Jaison Chourio, CF, 40+ FV
17. Parker Messick. LHP, 40+ FV
40 FV (16): Xzavion Curry/RHP, Joey Cantillo/LHP, Angel Genao/SS, Jacob Zibin/RHP, Jose Tena/SS, Davis Sharpe/RHP, Joe Lampe, 2B, Jake Fox/2B, Bryan Lavastida/C, Will Brennan/CF, Welbyn Francisca/SS, Tanner Burns/RHP, Isaiah Greene/LF, Tommy Mace/RHP, Peyton Battenfield/RHP, Jackson Humphries/LHP
35+ FV (18): Hunter Gaddis/RHP, Will Benson/RF, Milan Tolentino/SS, Trenton Denholm/RHP, Wuilfredo Antunez/CF, Tim Herrin/LHP, Dayan Frias/SS, Nick Mikolajchak/RHP, Ethan Hankins/RHP, Nate Furman/2B, Doug Nikhazy/LHP, Konnor PIlkington/LHP, Jake Miller/RHP, Juan Benjamin/2B, Will Dion/LHP, Jack Leftwich/RHP, Joe Naranjo/1B, Tyler Thornton/RHP
2023 Impact: Naylor
40+ FV breakout pick: DeLauter
40 FV or less breakout pick: Fox
Ranked prospects beyond the top 100
The Guardians have some clear player types they like to acquire: strike-throwing college pitchers and hit-over-power, medium-tooled middle infielders. From this tier, Martinez, Freeman, Arias and Brito all fit the second description. Martinez is a switch-hitter with plus bat control, plus speed and a plus arm. His power in games will dictate if he’s a good utility type or an everyday shortstop; he hit 13 homers last year while being young for both High-A and Double-A. Freeman is an even more extreme version in the batter’s box — 70 bat control, 40 raw power — and is a second baseman, but he’s already big league ready. Arias is more tools than skills with below average pitch selection but plus raw power. Brito, acquired in November from Colorado, is a second baseman with plus bat control, a great approach, and below average power.
And here’s some strike-throwing college pitchers in Campbell and Messick, Cleveland’s second and third picks in the 2022 draft. Campbell is the prototypical Cleveland hurler: a 6-7 righty with physical projection, athleticism, solid average raw stuff and above-average command. He’s got a good chance to become a back-end starter because of his changeup and feel, and maybe more — this is exactly the type for whom Cleveland has been able to tick up the fastball and breaking ball with more arm speed. Messick is a maxed-out lefty with David Wells vibes physically who gets by with a low approach angle to his heater, above-average command and a plus changeup.
Now for those who don’t fit the mold: Halpin, DeLauter, Noel, and Chourio. Chourio is the younger brother of one of the best prospects in baseball, Jackson — 11th on my top-100 list — and Jaison is a real prospect, too, even if he’s not at that level yet. He had more walks than strikeouts in his pro debut in the DSL, along with some real hit and power tools beyond the good pitch selection; he’s one to keep an eye on when he moves stateside. Noel has one above-average tool — his plus-plus raw power — and he chases too much right now against top level pitching to get to it. But he also hit 32 homers last season while being very young for both High-A and Double-A. Halpin is another of those hit-over-power, good approach, up the middle types that Cleveland loves, but Halpin plays center field, where he’s an above-average defender. DeLauter was a Cape Cod League standout, then had an up-and-down spring that ended early after a foot injury. He’s a smooth 6-4 athlete with 30-homer upside, but he still has limited experience against top pitching.
Others of note
Curry, like Cardinals lefty Connor Thomas, spent years as a widely seen weekend starter at Georgia Tech, went later in the draft, and eventually made the big leagues. Curry’s stuff is solid average, though it’s been a bit better than that at times in the past, and his execution, angles, and pitch design help him get the most out of his stuff. Zibin got $1 million as a Canadian who last spring reclassified into the 2022 class at a Florida academy high school. He gets down the mound well and has a plus changeup like Messick, but he’s young for the class with more present and future arm speed/breaking ball. Humphries is an athletic lefty with a plus breaking ball and heater that’s gotten into the mid-90s, but his command and execution lags a bit behind.
Fox, Lampe and Furman are three more of the short-limbed, up-the-middle contact types that I like in this system. I’ve always loved Fox’s feel for contact and the strike zone, even as he’s not a shortstop. He’s an above average runner who might be able to play center field in addition to second base; his power upside is the main question. Lampe popped up in 2022 at Arizona State as he got more physical and showed an ability to drive the ball. There’s real bat-to-ball and he’s a plus-plus runner but he chases a bit too much right now. Furman is also a plus-plus runner — and one who plays second base, though he might moonlight in center field like Fox — but doesn’t have much power — like basically all of these contact-first guys.
14th in quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV)
$151 million total value
1. Colt Keith, 3B, 50 FV (75th on the top 100)
2. Wilmer Flores, RHP, 50 FV (90)
3. Jackson Jobe, RHP, 50 FV (106)
4. Cristian Santana, 2B, 50 FV (107)
5. Wenceel Perez, 2B, 45+ FV (153)
6. Reese Olson, RHP, 45+ FV (162)
7. Izaac Pacheco, 3B, 45+ FV (163)
8. Dillon Dingler, C, 45+ FV (190)
9. Parker Meadows, CF, 45 FV
10. Jace Jung, 2B, 45 FV
11. Peyton Graham, SS, 45 FV
12. Joey Wentz, LHP, 45 FV
13. Ty Madden, RHP, 40+ FV
40 FV (11): Ryan Kreidler/SS, Andre Lipcius/3B, Kerry Carpenter/LF, Dylan Smith/RHP, Mason Englert/RHP, Justyn-Henry Malloy/3B, Brant Hurter/LHP, Manuel Sequera/SS, Abel Bastidas/SS, Brendan White/RHP, Donny Sands/C
35+ FV (12): Luis Garcia/SS, Roberto Campos/RF, Gage Workman/SS, Trei Cruz/SS, Trey Melton/RHP, Zack Hess/RHP, Reylin Perez/SS, Luke Gold/2B, Tyler Mattison/RHP, Garrett Burhenn/RHP, Wilkel Hernandez/RHP, Keider Montero/RHP
2023 Impact: Flores
40+ FV breakout pick: Santana
40 FV or less breakout pick: Englert
Ranked prospects beyond the top 100
Jobe’s mix — a 99 mph heater, 3000 rpm breaking ball, plus-flashing changeup, and plus athleticism — makes him one of the best prep pitching prospects in recent memory, but you can’t forget that he’s still a prep pitching prospect. Last year with a full season of workload, his velocity was a tick or two lower, and its shape doesn’t maximize his swing-and-miss on the pitch. Jobe’s command, too, is still that of a 20-year-old prospect and his off-speed pitches showed their expected quality at times. It wasn’t a bad season or step backward, but more a slowing of the acceleration of the hype train.
Olson has four above-average pitches and starter command, with a shot to get a big league look in the back half of 2023. Wentz, who got his first taste of the big leagues last year, looks like a solid back-end starter — he’s got an average fastball, but everything else is above average. Madden was a prospect out of Texas who looked good to the eye, but the data was just meh. That was in large part due to the plane at which he delivered his fastball, which has been improved — it now plays at its velocity rather than below it — so he’s still on track to become a third or fourth starter.
Santana was one of the best prospects in his international signing class and has hit the ground running in pro ball thus far. He hit 23% above the league average as an 18-year-old in Low-A with a power-and-patience approach that could lead to him hitting 25 homers one day, likely as a second baseman. Perez is also a likely second baseman but a hit-over-power type with plus speed. Pacheco, who likely will play third base, has 25 homer upside like Santana but needs to tighten up his strike zone a bit. Dingler is another power and patience type but is also a plus athlete who can catch. Meadows — the younger brother of Austin — is also tooled-out. He really turned a corner in 2022 by getting the most out of his plus power and speed.
Jung and Graham were the Tigers’ first two picks in the 2022 draft, both college position players from Big 12 schools. Jung has plus raw power and pitch selection along with good feel for the bat head, but his swing is geared for contact, so his power plays average at best in games. He’s not a great lateral athlete, either — just an OK runner and defender at second base. Graham, on the other hand, should be able to stick at shortstop; he has plus power, speed and arm strength. He swings far too much, so scouts wonder if it’s due to pitch-recognition issues or just a lack of plate discipline — the latter can be taught.
Others of note
There’s a nice mix of role-player types who should be ready in 2023 or early in 2024, and there’s a good shot I’m wrong about one of them who becomes an everyday guy for a stretch. Kreidler is a 6-4 shortstop on the 40-man. There’s some natural swing-and-miss given his size, but there’s power and patience as well. Two others on the 40-man already: Lipcius, a third baseman with mostly average tools and a hit-over-power approach, and Carpenter, a left field/designated hitter type with power and patience who hit 36 homers across three levels last year. Malloy, acquired from the Braves in December, isn’t on the 40-man but should open in Triple-A, profiling as a power-hitting righty that can play all four corner spots.
Smith is an athletic righty whose stuff took a jump forward in his draft year at Alabama. Now he has a bag of 50- or 55-grade pitches and solid average command, and his athleticism suggests there could be even more to come. Englert, a former Ranger, was someone I had targeted late in the year to make a jump on Texas’ list, so I was surprised when they didn’t add him to the 40-man. The Tigers saw what I saw, which is four pitches average or better and starter command. Detroit used a Rule 5 pick on a gamble that he’s advanced enough to hang around the big leagues all season. Hurter looked like a second-round talent as an underclassman at Georgia Tech before being derailed by Tommy John surgery in 2019. He went in the seventh round but, three years on, now looks like that same underclassman version: a 6-6 lefty sitting 91-94 with a plus breaker, good changeup and the feel for how to use them.
Kansas City Royals
16th in quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV)
$112 million total value
1. Maikel Garcia, SS, 50 FV (78th on the top 100)
2. Carter Jensen, C, 45+ FV (131)
3. Gavin Cross, RF, 45+ FV (160)
4. Nick Loftin, CF, 45+ FV (178)
5. Cayden Wallace, 3B, 45 FV
6. Frank Mozzicato, LHP, 45 FV
7. Alec Marsh, RHP, 45 FV
8. Tyler Gentry, RF, 40+ FV
9. Drew Waters, CF, 40+ FV
10. Ben Kudrna, RHP, 40+ FV
11. Asa Lacy, LHP, 40+ FV
12. Angel Zerpa, LHP, 40+ FV
40 FV (10): Peyton Wilson/2B, Diego Hernandez/CF, Andrew Hoffmann/RHP, Jonathan Bowlan/RHP, T.J. Sikkema/LHP, Beck Way/RHP, Luca Tresh/C, Chandler Champlain/RHP, Eric Cerantola/RHP, Ben Hernandez/RHP
35+ FV (17): Samad Taylor/2B, Freddy Fermin/C, Nate Eaton/3B, Mason Barnett/RHP, Darryl Collins/LF, Steven Zobac/RHP, Hunter Patteson/LHP, Hayden Dunhurst/C, Austin Charles/SS, Henry Ramos/RF, David Sandlin/RHP, Max Castillo/RHP, Tucker Bradley/LF, Jacob Wallace/RHP, Drew Parrish/LHP, Will Klein/RHP, Christian Chamberlain/LHP
2023 Impact: Garcia
40+ FV breakout pick: Mozzicato
40 FV or less breakout pick: Wilson
Ranked prospects beyond the top 100
The 78th overall pick in 2021, Jensen outperformed expectations with a solid full-season debut in 2022. There are questions about his defense, power-and-patience as an 18-year-old in Low-A were excellent (both at least plus for his age) and with pretty good contact skills. If he keeps tracking like this, he might hit enough that he won’t need to catch, but keep an eye on Bo Naylor for the Guardians this year in the big leagues, who has a similar skill set.
Cross and Wallace were accomplished college players who were taken with the Royals’ first two 2022 draft picks. Cross is an above-average hitter with a good approach and plus raw power, along with sneaky-good defensive instincts in right field given his only average speed. Wallace is a solid defensive third baseman with a plus arm and plus raw power — the question is how much contact he’ll make, but I think it’ll be close to average.
Gentry was rising before the 2020 shutdown, tracking like he could have been a second-round pick with a full spring to showcase his leveled-up tools before going in the third round. 2022 was his true breakout year, as he hit .326 with 21 homers and 10 stolen bases across High-A and Double-A. Gentry should land in the good platoon/fourth-outfielder area on the low end or solid everyday option on the high end. Waters is in that general area, but took a different route as a former top-100 prospect for the Braves. He has above-average tools across the board but has to manage his chase rate at the plate. Loftin was a college shortstop who has been tried all over the field and will likely be a solid utility type, with plus contact skills and 10-15 homer upside.
Mozzicato was a borderline shocking top-10 pick in 2021 with the selling point being his projection, feel, and curveball. All of that stuff is still there, though his walk rate jives with scout accounts of inconsistent command. Kudrna’s pick (along with Jensen) is where Kansas City spent the savings from Mozzicato’s under-slot bonus. He is also still pretty similar to what his draft scouting report said: an athletic 6-3 with three pitches that project above average and could be plus if his velocity makes a jump. Marsh had a velo jump in 2021 that gives him above-average-to-plus raw stuff, and he’ll get a chance in the big leagues in 2023. Lacy was the No. 4 overall pick in 2020. I wasn’t fully on board then, and it’s gone much worse than I expected as he has almost as many walks allowed as strikeouts in pro ball. His fastball/slider combo is still plus-plus, but now the Royals have to be thinking what it will look like in short stints. Zerpa is a lefty who has a good breaking ball and above-average command that might allow him to start long-term
Others of note
I was a big fan of Wilson when he was at Alabama because he could play average defense literally anywhere on the field (including catcher) with plus-plus speed, and has shorter arms that help with contact. His power is fringy and he chases too much, but he could be a fan-favorite super utility player by 2024. Charles is also interesting as a true pro prospect both on the mound and in the infield. Since he’s 6-6, scouts assume he’ll slide over to third base, but he’s a plus athlete with good hands and massive power potential at the plate along with throwing easy mid-90s heat on the mound.
Sikkema, Way and Champlain were acquired from the Yankees for Andrew Benintendi and all rank closely on the list. Sikkema is a crafty lefty whose slider and command are what you hang your hat on with enough here for him to be a back-end starter. Way is a later-bloomer who still hasn’t harnessed his 55-to-60-grade arsenal, but he is a good athlete who will be a big leaguer of some sort. Champlain is a 6-5 righty who sits 93-95 mph with two above-average breaking balls. His command might be good enough for him to be a starter without really using a changeup.
It’s easy to see the appeal of Chamberlain with two plus pitches from the left side, but his small frame and below-average command limit his upside. Cerantola looks at first glance to have ace upside as a 6-5 righty with a solid delivery, 100 mph heater and plus breaking ball, but his command has always been below average and his fastball shape limits its effectiveness — though he’s improving in pro ball. Tresh was expected to go in the second or third round out of NC State, but ended up signing for a fifth-round bonus as a 17th-round pick. He’s hitting like a second-round pick in the pros and should start 2023 in Triple-A, with a power-over-hit approach but fringy defense behind the plate.
8th in quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV)
$191 million total value
1. Brooks Lee, 3B, 50 FV (65th on the top 100)
2. Royce Lewis, SS, 50 FV (76)
3. Emmanuel Rodriguez, RF, 50 FV (79)
4. Jose Salas, SS, 50 FV (94)
5. Edouard Julien, 2B, 50 FV (100)
6. Austin Martin, SS, 45+ FV (177)
7. Matt Canterino, RHP, 45 FV
8. Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP, 45 FV
9. Noah Miller, SS, 45 FV
10. Matt Wallner, RF, 45 FV
11. Danny De Andrade, SS, 45 FV
12. Ronny Henriquez, RHP, 45 FV
13. Marco Raya, RHP, 45 FV
14. Connor Prielipp, LHP, 45 FV
15. Yasser Mercedes, RF, 40+ FV
16. Louie Varland, RHP, 40+ FV
40 FV (13): Jose Rodriguez/RF, David Festa/RHP, Hendry Chivilli/SS, Aaron Sabato/1B, Tanner Schobel/SS, Alerick Soularie/2B, Ben Ross/SS, Misael Urbina/CF, Kala’i Rosario/RF, Jaylen Nowlin/LHP, Brent Headrick/LHP, Jordan Balazovic/RHP, Alejandro Hidalgo/RHP
35+ FV (20): Travis Adams/RHP, Noah Cardenas/C, Cole Sands/RHP, Bryan Acuna/SS, Cesar Lares/LHP, Rafael Cruz/3B, Christian MacLeod/LHP, Ariel Castro/RF, Carlos Silva/C, Yunior Severino/3B, Alex Isola/C, Anthony Narvaez/RHP, Keoni Cavaco/SS, Byron Chourio/RF, Andrew Morris/RHP, Pierson Ohl/RHP, Kyler Fedko/RF, Pat Winkel/C, Cody Laweryson/RHP, Kyle Jones/RHP
2023 Impact: Lewis
40+ FV breakout pick: De Andrade
40 FV or less breakout pick: Rodriguez
Ranked prospects beyond the top 100
Martin looked like a top-of-the-draft prospect his sophomore year at Vanderbilt, then had a bad start to the pandemic-shortened 2020 spring, partly due to injury, and has looked more like a role player than strong starter since. His raw power is average while his feel for hitting and athleticism are above average, so there has been a belief that he could tap into more power as he ages. That power simply hasn’t shown up at all (seven homers in 185 pro games) while his defensive position continues to be a question, with second base or center field most likely but by no means the only options.
Miller is similar in that he can really hit without a ton of power, but there’s a better chance he’ll stay at shortstop and he’s a switch-hitter who is almost four years younger than Martin. De Andrade is in a similar spot power-wise but is more than a year younger than Miller, and he also looks like he can stick at shortstop long term. Wallner has long been a favorite due to his plus-plus raw power but that and drawing walks are the only two above-average qualities he can offer. Mercedes was a seven-figure international signing last winter and is a classic right fielder with a plus arm, plus power potential, and some feel for contact. He had a loud pro debut but needs to tighten up his zone a bit more.
Canterino seemed poised for a breakout since the shutdown with a new plus changeup he learned during the break but he’s only thrown 60 innings over the two seasons since then. He has a bevy of 55-to-60-grade pitches and command to at least go a few innings at a time. Woods Richardson bloomed early with starter traits, reaching Double-A at age 20, but now has only one pitch better than average (changeup), so that and his command need to excel to turn over lineups. Henriquez splits the difference a bit as a 5-10 (listed) power righty with above-average stuff and starter feel that posts good peripherals but mostly bad ERAs.
Raya is another smaller-framed righty with above-average stuff and the feel to start; the upper levels will be necessary to see how his stuff plays because lower-level hitters are overmatched. Prielipp threw a couple of bullpens before the draft as he was returning from Tommy John surgery, but had only thrown 28 innings in three seasons at Alabama. He has a plus breaking ball, heater into the mid-90s and the components to start, but no one has scouted him enough to have a good idea of where this is headed. Varland sits in the mid-90s and has a good feel for locating his solid-average four pitch mix.
Others of note
Jose Rodriguez is following the path Emmanuel Rodriguez has taken in this system. Both are right fielders with plus power and patience that has shown up in games as a teenager. Jose is right-handed and may have more swing-and-miss issues as he gets to higher levels. Chivilli was the Twins’ top international signing last month with plenty of upside as a 6-3 plus runner with a plus arm, plus power potential and a shot to stick at shortstop.
Schobel (a 2022 second-rounder out of Virginia Tech) is a different type of shortstop: He stands 5-10 with below-average power, but has low-end everyday upside due to his athleticism, feel for contact and glove. Ross was a little-known 2022 fifth-rounder out of Division II Notre Dame College. The early returns have been very positive, with Ross emerging as a sure-handed defender with feel for contact.
Festa is a late-bloomer who now sits 95-97 mph and mixes in an above-average slider and changeup. Soularie can play multiple positions and has above-average raw power and speed, but his below-average feel for contact limits him a bit. Rosario has plus raw power and solid control of the strike zone, but is also limited contact wise by his swing and approach. Cruz (a corner infielder with plus raw power) and Acuna (well-rounded offensive tools and a sure-handed defender) are lower-level position players to keep an eye on.
28th in quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV)
$114 million total value
1. Hunter Brown, RHP, 55 FV (41st on the top 100)
2. Drew Gilbert, CF, 45+ FV (165)
3. Pedro Leon, CF, 45+ FV (176)
4. Yainer Diaz, C, 45+ FV (187)
5. Korey Lee, C, 45 FV
6. Colin Barber, CF, 45 FV
7. Jacob Melton, CF, 40+ FV
40 FV (10): Joe Perez/3B, Forrest Whitley/RHP, Camilo Diaz/SS, Ryan Clifford/RF, David Hensley/3B, Dauri Lorenzo/SS, Andrew Taylor/RHP, Trey Dombroski/LHP, Luis Baez/RF, Waner Luciano/3B
35+ FV (23): Cristian Gonzalez/SS, Alex Santos/RHP, Spencer Arrighetti/RHP, Michael Knorr/RHP, Zach Daniels/CF, Tyler Whitaker/RF, J.P. France/LHP, Bligh Madris/RF, Shawn Dubin/RHP, Misael Tamarez/RHP, Rylan Bannon/3B, J.C. Correa/C, Jaime Melendez/RHP, Miguel Ullola/RHP, Logan Cerny/CF, Parker Mushinski/LHP, Jayden Murray/RHP, Jordan Brewer/CF, Rhett Kouba/RHP, Luis Santana/2B, Will Wagner/2B, Quincy Hamilton/CF, Ronel Blanco/RHP
2023 Impact: Brown
40+ FV breakout pick: Gilbert
40 FV or less breakout pick: Baez
Ranked prospects beyond the top 100
Gilbert was my No. 1 pick to click in the 2022 draft as the early-round pick with the biggest gap between where I ranked him and where he was picked/paid. It seems obvious that there are a lot of Brett Gardner vibes here: plus speed, standout center-field defense, a plus arm, real feel for contact and 20-homer upside. He stands just 5-9, will probably never have a 70-grade tool and showed some of those skills for only one season at Tennessee, but that’s just picking nits instead of focusing on what he does well. Melton was another 2022 draft prospect I liked relative to consensus because of his 55 raw power and 60 speed in a center-field fit, but there are questions about his contact ability.
Barber missed most of the 2021 season because of shoulder surgery, so last season was an important chance to show what he could do. He hit well in High-A and I had him as a soft 50 FV, but I got consistent feedback from teams to knock him down a grade because their metrics indicated his contact and center-field defense both weren’t as good as they appeared on the surface. He’s a plus runner with plus bat control and a pretty good approach, so I still have hope.
Diaz and Lee are both 24-year-old catchers who are on the 40-man roster and ready for big league looks. Martin Maldonado’s existence means one of them will be the backup in Houston and the other will start 2023 in Triple-A. Diaz is a slightly better defender with more hitting tools (above-average bat control with plus raw power) but is a free swinger, while Lee is more of a power-and-patience type.
Leon went straight to the upper levels as a 23-year-old after signing for one of the biggest bonuses in his international class. He can capably play almost any position on the field, but his plus speed and plus-plus arm fit best in center field. He also has plus raw power and feel for lifting the ball in games, so he’s just about ready for a big league shot to show if he’s an everyday center fielder or more of a fourth outfielder.
Others of note
Perez looked like a pitching prospect to many in high school, but the Astros leaned into his plus raw power and third-base fit when they decided his future would be as a position player. He got one major league at-bat in 2022 and has 25-homer upside if he can learn to lift the ball more consistently.
Diaz received a $2.25 million bonus as one of the top players in the current international signing period. He’s a maybe-shortstop with plus bat speed and plus power potential. Clifford got the second-biggest bonus ($1.26 million) of Houston’s 2022 draft group behind only Gilbert. He was well-known by scouts and college recruiters for his polished hit/power combo by his freshman year of high school. He’s a below-average runner who will likely end up in right field, but the selling point is at least average contact and pitch selection with plus raw power.
Taylor, Knorr, and Dombroski are notable pitchers from Houston’s 2022 draft class. Taylor is a 6-5, metrics-friendly righty (high-spin rates, low approach angle) with athleticism and command but his off-speed stuff is merely average. Knorr is a 6-5 power righty from Coastal Carolina who sits in the mid-90s with a slider and changeup that both flash above average, but his command is just short of starter-quality. Dombroski is a (wait for it) 6-5 finesse lefty who sits 87-92 mph with above-average off-speed pitches and command.
Los Angeles Angels
No. 25 overall
No. 27 in quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV)
$139 million total value
1. Edgar Quero, C, 50 FV (43rd on the top 100)
2. Logan O’Hoppe, C, 50 FV (62)
3. Zach Neto, SS, 50 FV (84)
4. Ky Bush, LHP, 45+ FV (171)
5. Chase Silseth, RHP, 45 FV
6. Jeremiah Jackson, SS, 45 FV
7. Denzer Guzman, SS, 40+ FV
8. Werner Blakely, 3B, 40+ FV
40 FV (7): Sam Bachman/RHP, Kyren Paris/SS, Ben Joyce/RHP, Jadiel Sanchez/RF, Caden Dana/RHP, Arol Vera/SS, Jake Madden/RHP
35+ FV (27): Michael Stefanic/2B, Nelson Rada/CF, Ryan Costeiu/RHP, Zack Weiss/RHP, Jordyn Adams/CF, Landon Marceaux/RHP, Coleman Crow/RHP, Livan Soto/SS, Adrian Placencia/2B, Sonny DiChiara/1B, Brett Kerry/RHP, Davis Daniel/RHP, Mason Erla/RHP, Kolton Ingram/RHP, Brandon Dufault/RHP, Randy De Jesus/RF, Victor Mederos/RHP, David Calabrese/CF, Alexander Ramirez/RF, Jose Soriano/RHP, Jack Kochanowicz/RHP, Mason Albright/LHP, Bryce Teodosio/CF, Jake Smith/RHP, Luis Torres/1B, Jose Salvador/LHP, Luke Murphy/RHP
2023 Impact: O’Hoppe
40+ FV breakout pick: Guzman
40 FV or less breakout pick: Rada
Ranked prospects beyond the top 100
Bush popped up last spring at St. Mary. He’d had command issues at his two previous colleges, but his athleticism won out, the command improved and he went 45th overall in the 2021 draft. He opened 2022 in Double-A and didn’t miss a beat, holding the raw stuff he’d shown for years (92-94, 55-to-60 grade slider, solid average changeup) and performing well for 103 innings.
A 2023 big league look for Bush wouldn’t be surprising — but Silseth’s rise last year was, going from his pro debut as an 11th-round pick to big leaguer in just eight months. His stuff and command both got a notch crispier, but it wasn’t really due to anything unforeseen — he just hit an unlikely good outcome immediately after signing.
Jackson was a favorite in the 2018 draft, especially after we found out that his contact issues over the summer were because of an eyesight issue. It got fixed in the spring, and he demolished the Alabama prep record books. He probably needs one more year in the upper minors before getting a big league look, and exactly what his power-over-hit outcome looks like will dictate if he’s a utility guy or low-end starter.
Guzman is a potential everyday shortstop with a plus hit tool, and how much power he can get to in games will dictate his upside. Blakely is a smooth, fun athlete to watch. He has above average power potential at 6-3, but he needs to get to more of it, especially since he’s shifted over from shortstop to third base.
Others of note
If you pay attention to college baseball, you know the name Ben Joyce. As the closer for Tennessee, he was sitting at 100 mph the whole season, making hitters look silly. I don’t think he can start in the bigs, but there’s probably enough here to go multiple innings if needed. His command and slider aren’t great — but they don’t need to be.
Dana is a classic prep righty gamble — he’s from a cold-weather state, with an athletic 6-4 frame, shows mid-90s velocity and an above-average breaking ball, but he’s still pretty raw. Rada is a 5-10, 17-year-old center fielder who debuted in the DSL last summer; he has plus bat control and a good approach. Stefanic is a 27-year-old whose carrying tool is plus-plus bat control and a great approach, but he has little power and fits best at second base. Sanchez, acquired in the Brandon Marsh/O’Hoppe trade, profiles as a classic right fielder with above-average power potential and arm strength. Adams is one of the best athletes I’ve ever scouted, with Byron Buxton vibes, but he just hasn’t hit much the past few years.
No. 19 overall
No. 5 in quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV)
$184.5 million total value
1. Tyler Soderstrom, 1B, 55 FV (23rd on the top 100)
2. Ken Waldichuk, LHP, 50 FV (63)
3. Esteury Ruiz, CF, 50 FV (105)
4. Max Muncy, SS, 50 FV (109)
5. Zack Gelof, 2B, 45+ FV (130)
6. Darell Hernaiz, SS, 45+ FV (134)
7. Kyle Muller, LHP, 45+ FV (145)
8. Jordan Diaz, 3B, 45+ FV (175)
9. Mason Miller, RHP, 45 FV
10. Denzel Clarke, CF, 45 FV
11. Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, 45 FV
12. Luis Medina, RHP, 45 FV
13. Daniel Susac, C, 40+ FV
14. Freddy Tarnok, RHP, 40+ FV
15. Lawrence Butler, LF, 40+ FV
16. J.T. Ginn, HP, 40+ FV
17. Joey Estes, RHP, 40+ FV
40 FV (7): Henry Bolte/CF, Luis Danys Morales/RHP, Brett Harris/3B, Ryan Cusick/RHP, Royber Salinas/RHP, Clark Elliott/RF, Grant Holman/RHP
35+ FV (17): Conner Capel/RF, Pedro Pineda/CF, Robert Puason/SS, Colby Thomas/RF, Hogan Harris/LHP, Ryan Noda/1B, Jacob Watters/RHP, Cal Stevenson/CF, Cooper Bowman/2B, Dermis Garcia/1B, Chad Smith/RHP, Brayan Buelvas/CF, Logan Davidson/SS, C.J. Rodriguez/C, Euribiel Angeles/SS, Junior Perez/RF, Garrett Acton/RHP
2023 Impact: Ruiz
40+ FV breakout pick: Clarke
40 FV or less breakout pick: Harris
Ranked prospects beyond the top 100
Ruiz came to Oakland from Atlanta this offseason as the headliner in the Sean Murphy trade. He fit the A’s system as a smallish, multipositional hitter with plus-plus speed and plus on-base skills. He had a huge 2022 season in the minors, hitting 16 homers and stealing 86 bases. He now looks like a Rookie of the Year candidate who could post a league-average line at the plate while generating a sneaky-high WAR because of his speed and defense. Hernaiz was just acquired from Baltimore in a trade for pitcher Cole Irvin. He’s probably not a long-term shortstop (I’ll guess second base), but he has performed well while being young for levels and his offensive potential is a tick above average with a hit-over-power approach.
The A’s have restocked their organizational pitching depth via a slew of recent trades, with the next five players I’ll mention all acquired in the past year.
Muller is a big lefty who lost his command when he fell in love with trying to hit 100 mph; he regained it last year and now has a fastball, slider, and curveball that are all plus pitches. Tarnok has steadily improved as a pitcher since being drafted as an intriguing two-way player with big athleticism and limited miles on his arm. with a plus fastball that sits 93-95 mph and a solid average collection of off-speed pitches.
Hoglund was dealing in the SEC with plus command of 55-grade stuff before he had pre-draft Tommy John surgery before the 2021 draft. He was then traded and just returned from biceps tightness late last season. Ginn, like Hoglund, didn’t sign as a first-rounder out of high school then went to the SEC and performed well but needed Tommy John just before the draft. Ginn has retuned to the mound, but his command isn’t fully back yet. Estes was a lower-tier prep righty who had good TrackMan characteristics (92-96 mph with great shape) that have carried over into strong pro performances with solid-average offspeed and command projections.
This last group is all homegrown prospects in Muncy, Gelof, Diaz, Clarke, Butler, Miller and Susac. The question on Muncy when he was taken 25th overall in 2021 was if he would hit enough, as all of his other tools were above average. He made it to High-A as a teenager, hitting 19 homers and stealing 19 bases in his full-season debut with a power-and-patience approach. Gelof was a draft sleeper who didn’t get to maximize his upside at Virginia, but it looks like he’ll provide solid-average offense with a steady glove at either second or third base. Diaz has been young for every level he’s played at and reached the big leagues last year at age 21. He’s a solid-average defender at third with solid-average raw power (19 homers across three levels in 2022) but his chase and swing rates are worse than average, undermining his tools a bit.
Clarke has massive raw tools — a 6-5 center fielder with plus raw power, above-average speed, and an above-average arm — but went in the fourth round of the 2021 draft because he put up just OK numbers at Cal State Northridge. He’s always going to strike out a good bit, but some people in the know are calling a 2023 breakout. Butler was a late-rising Atlanta prep hitter with a raw sense of the strike zone that he has since dialed in. He has 30-home run upside as a first base/corner outfield lefty power-and-patience hitter.
Miller had a huge season at Gardner Webb after transferring from a Division III college and eventually went in the third round of the 2021 draft. He’s only thrown 20 regular-season innings since due to a scapula injury, but hit triple digits with a sharp breaker. He followed it up with 20 strikeouts and only 4 walks allowed in 16⅔ Arizona Fall League innings. He should move quickly and needs to face higher level competition but he is a potential impact pitcher, in a number of roles.
I’m a little low on Susac. He has a plus arm and I think he’ll be able to stick at catcher despite standing 6-4 and sometimes having mental lapses behind the plate. He has above-average contact ability and raw power, but his pitch selection is below average and his bat speed is fringy, so I wonder if he’ll hit his offensive upside. If Susac can pull it all together, he could rank among the top 10 catchers in the majors — but that is a big if, for now.
Others of note
If you squint when watching Bolte, you can see a bit of George Springer: a 6-3, righty-hitting power/speed merchant with plus-plus raw power and plus speed. He doesn’t have a long track record of hitting top pitching, but that’s how to get this type of upside into the system. Oakland has consciously focused on adding players with a high-end combo of bat speed, raw power and speed (Clarke, Pineda, Puason, Austin Beck, Lazaro Armenteros) and it hasn’t quite turned into production yet. Pineda and Puason both got bonuses near the top of their respective international signing classes. Oakland has pushed both players than I would’ve advised, essentially dropping them in the deep end of the pool to see how special they are. They both had strikeouts rates over 35% as teenagers in full-season ball, but still have the tools that led to their signing bonuses.
Harris is a late-bloomer who was a seventh-round pick out of Gonzaga in 2021 He can play a solid third base and is an advanced hitter who answered questions about his power upside by belting 17 homers in 2022. He may be an above-average offensive threat (and underranked as a 40 FV) if he can keep performing like this as a 24-year-old in Triple-A to start 2023. Elliott is an outfield tweener, a corner fit who has just average raw power — but he could be the rare tweener who can hit enough to make that work as an everyday outfielder.
Oakland has a history of going to top of the international market with pitchers at times and tried that again this year with Morales, who signed last month for $3 million. He’s a lanky, projectable 6-3 20-year-old from Cuba who has hit the upper-90s and settled in the mid-90s. He has shown an above-average curveball and the athleticism to project starter command, but the excitement is more about his arm speed and traits than a finished product at this point.
A 2021 first-rounder acquired in the Matt Olson trade, Cusick will sit 95-97 and hit 100 mph with his fastball. He mixes a slider that is often plus, a smart adjustment from the curveball he threw in college. His command is still below average — but serviceable with his high-octane stuff — and he still doesn’t throw a changeup much, so a multi-inning reliever role is his most likely outcome. Salinas also came over in the Sean Murphy trade. He sits 93-96 with a plus heater, above-average curveball and slider — and below average command that looks destined for the bullpen sooner than later, though he and Cusick still have another year or two to work it out.
22nd in quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV)
$111 million total value
1. Harry Ford, C, 50 FV FV (59th on the top 100)
2. Bryce Miller, RHP, 50 FV (74)
3. Cole Young, SS, 45 FV
4. Gabriel Gonzalez, RF, 45 FV
5. Felnin Celesten, SS, 45 FV
6. Emerson Hancock, RHP, 45 FV
7. Tyler Locklear, 3B, 45 FV
8. Walter Ford, RHP, 40+ FV
9. Bryan Woo, RHP, 40+ FV
10. Michael Arroyo, SS, 40+ FV
40 FV (11): Jonatan Clase/CF, Lazaro Montes/LF, Axel Sanchez/SS, Cade Marlowe/CF, Prelander Berroa/RHP, Taylor Dollard/RHP, Zach DeLoach/RF, Kaden Polcovich/2B, Michael Morales/RHP, Juan Then/RHP, Brennan Bernardino/LHP
35+ FV (12): Robert Perez Jr./1B, Ashton Izzi/RHP, Alberto Rodriguez/LF, Tyler Gough/RHP, Chris Clarke/RHP, Isaiah Campbell/RHP, Travis Kuhn/RHP, Jean Munoz/RHP, Josh Hood/SS, Easton McGee/RHP, Hogan Windish/2B, Jimmy Joyce/RHP
2023 Impact: Miller
40+ FV breakout pick: Woo
40 FV or less breakout pick: Sanchez
Ranked prospects beyond the top 100
There are three young middle infielders here worth grouping together: Young, Celesten, and Arroyo. Young was the Mariners’ 2022 first-rounder, and he’s long been a standout hitter who will stick at shortstop and give you something on the bases. He’s got above average speed and more gap power. Celesten is either the second- or third-best prospect in this international class, depending on whom you ask. He’s a switch-hitting shortstop who’s basically above average at everything and has been for years. Arroyo popped this year. He probably isn’t a shortstop long-term, but may be an above average offensive threat at second or third base.
Locklear is a third baseman who was a second round pick in 2022 out of VCU. He might have to move to a different corner eventually, but he has plus raw power, the feel to get to it in games, and strong contact skills as well. Gonzalez drew some J-Rod comparisons when he signed, as a big-bonus internationally signed outfielder with plus raw power, but the comparisons mostly stop there. Gonzalez is still a bit of a free swinger, and he seems corner outfield only at this point.
Hancock’s star has dimmed a bit since going in the top 10 in the 2020 draft, but he’s now looking like he’ll be a solid fourth starter. He still has an easy plus changeup and the feel for commanding all of his pitches, though his fastball and slider grade around average or just a bit above now. Ford got a bit overslot in the late second round, as he has one of the highest prep pitcher upsides in last year’s draft. At his best, he’ll sit in the mid-90s, rip off a plus breaking ball, and have the mentality and plus athleticism to throw strikes and compete — despite being one of the youngest players in his class (as you can guess, he’s still a bit inconsistent). Woo was a 2021 sixth-rounder out of Cal Poly and has already made enough of a jump that he now looks like he’ll be a big league starter. He can really command his 93-96 mph heater which has excellent bat missing traits, and also mixes in a solid average slider and changeup.
Others of note
Despite being just 20 years old and topping out at Low-A, Clase got added to the 40-man this offseason because his skillset is the type you can hide on a big league roster. He’s an 80 runner and plus defender in center field who has enough power to take advantage of pitchers’ mistakes (13 homers last season, despite being 5-8) and a decent approach. Montes, a lefty-hitting right fielder with a plus arm and plus power potential, was one of the top players in the 2022 international class. In his pro debut he struck out a bit much but also walked a ton and hit 10 homers in 55 games. Sanchez is a sure-handed shortstop who hit for more power than expected, slugging .618 in Low-A as a teenager, though the sample was just 33 games. Marlowe was added to the 40-man this year and profiles as a classic fourth outfielder who’s pretty good at everything.
Morales was a projection prep righty I liked in the 2021 draft because the markers (cold weather, lanky frame, good command, good athlete) were there for the arm speed to pop in pro ball. He’s still a good prospect, but it hasn’t happened yet. Dollard is a crafty righty with an above average slider. Perez Jr., a righty-hitting first baseman who hasn’t gotten out of A-Ball, went unpicked in the Rule 5, but he has plus power and patience, so he may still get added next winter.
2nd in quality depth (prospects better than 40 FV)
$228.5 million total value
1. Evan Carter, CF, 55 FV (29th on the top 100)
2. Josh Jung, 3B, 55 FV (38)
3. Owen White, RHP, 50 FV (87)
4. Jonathan Ornelas, SS, 50 FV (102)
5. Luisangel Acuna, SS, 45+ FV (108)
6. Justin Foscue, 2B, 45+ FV (132)
7. Jack Leiter, RHP, 45+ FV (149)
8. Aaron Zavala, RF, 45+ FV (150)
9. Yeison Morrobel, CF, 45 FV
10. Marc Church, RHP, 45 FV
11. Cole Winn, RHP, 45 FV
12. Anthony Gutierrez, CF, 45 FV
13. Dustin Harris, LF, 45 FV
14. Kumar Rocker, RHP, 45 FV
15. Brock Porter, RHP, 45 FV
16. Trevor Hauver, LF
17. Tekoah Roby, RHP, 45 FV
18. Maximo Acosta, SS, 40+ FV
19. Mitch Bratt, LHP, 40+ FV
40 FV (9): Sebastian Walcott/SS, Ian Moller/C, Thomas Saggese/2B, Alejandro Osuna/LF, Danyer Cueva/2B, Cole Ragans/LHP, Ricky Vanasco/RHP, Yerry Rodriguez/RHP, D.J. McCarty/RHP
35+ FV (17): Yosy Galan/LF, Chandler Pollard/2B, JoJo Blackmon/CF, Zak Kent/RHP, Leury Tejada/RHP, Gleider Figuereo/3B, Cody Freeman/C, Antoine Kelly/LHP, Avery Weems/LHP, Cody Bradford/LHP, Winston Santos/RHP, Cameron Cauley/SS, Emiliano Teodo/RHP, Edgar Basabe/CF, Josh Stephan/RHP, Justin Slaten/RHP, Tommy Specht/CF
2023 Impact: Jung
40+ FV breakout pick: Morrobel
40 FV or less breakout pick: Blackmon
Ranked prospects beyond the top 100
There are three notable names here for a lot of people: Leiter and Rocker, the famous college pitchers who were the Rangers’ last two first-round picks, and Porter, the $3.7 million man (and the guy the Rocker savings were spent on). Rocker’s been on a journey: He enrolled at Vanderbilt after his price wasn’t met out of high school, and after his freshman year, he looked like the next David Price, and a clear wire-to-wire No. 1 overall pick. In his next two seasons, his command regressed a bit, his velocity fluctuated more often, and some weaknesses in his fastball shape (approach angle and lift) became more acute.
After he didn’t sign with the Mets in 2021, whispers about his arm health got louder, and he had a shoulder procedure before joining an Independent League team. His slot was a bit lower, which addressed some fastball quality questions, but he wasn’t throwing enough to address the durability question. Teams assumed he would be picked in the back half of the first round in 2022, likely to be fast-tracked to the big leagues for an easy win. It was shocking that the Rangers took him third overall, though it makes more sense when you know that the player they wanted most (Druw Jones) was gone and after they snagged Porter, a mid-first round talent, with a later pick. In the Arizona Fall League, pro scouts were pretty pessimistic about Rocker being a starter long-term, but I’m waiting until 2023 to get a good idea of where he stands going forward. He’s getting stretched back out, and he still has a plus fastball/slider combo, above average curveball and average changeup along with a good sense of how to use them.
Leiter’s story is less complicated. He dominated in college, but the concern was that his command was just OK — that he was just getting his pitches into the general area where they needed to be and the raw stuff would do the rest. In pro ball, you need more precision than that, especially if you’re throwing four-seamers at the top of the zone — the margin for error is small. Leiter just needs another notch of fastball command and the rest of this will work, but it serves to remind us that it’s not just high school pitchers or injured pitchers who are risky — all pitchers are.
Porter wasn’t a favorite of mine on the showcase circuit: His fastball, despite being in the mid-90s, was hittable due to its shape, his command was just OK, his curveball was inconsistent, and his changeup was so much slower than his fastball that it could be a problem. He answered a lot of those questions in the spring. He got in better shape, which helped his command and consistency, added a slider which flashed plus, and adjusted the shape on his fastball. It’s still a risky profile, but there’s enough frontline potential to justify the risk.
Finishing up the pitchers, we have Church, Winn, Roby, and Bratt. Church has two easy plus pitches in his fastball and slider, and he locates them pretty well. But his delivery, his age (22 in March), and his 1-2 inning per outing usage suggest he won’t be a 150-inning-type starter. Winn was in the middle of last year’s Top 100 but had a bad season: walk rate up, strikeout rate down, and his whole arsenal graded out a tick lower than in 2022. Roby has an above average fastball/curveball combo, which is enough to project him as a back-end starter. Bratt is an advanced, Canadian-born lefty with solid average command of average stuff.
Ornelas has developed well over the years. He has added power to his game, complementing his plus speed, solid glove at short and contact-oriented bat. He just missed the Top 100, but had a lot of support, particularly from analytics-oriented clubs. Acuna also had some late Top 100 support (and yes, he’s the brother of Ronald). He’ll fit in the infield, but it isn’t clear where his best spot is just yet. He’s an above-average runner who has 15-homer type upside and above-average bat control. There may not be a plus tool, but he’s a good ballplayer.
Foscue is well-rounded and above average offensively, but just OK defensively at second base. Zavala was a late riser in the 2021 draft but signed for a lower bonus due to what the club called a medical anomaly, a mass at the top of his cervical spine. It’s proved to not be as serious as feared, and Zavala has been better than expected. Within a year of a potentially career-ending diagnosis, he has gone from the 38th overall pick to in the conversation for the Top 100. Harris looks like a league average offensive threat who’ll be limited to left field or first base. Hauver has a similar profile: a fantastic approach and 20-homer power, but limited to second base or left field.
Morrobel is an exciting young prospect, a potential center-field fit with above-average raw power and what look like real contact skills. His 2023 season at Low-A will give a good indication of how excited we should be. Gutierrez signed for $2 million about a year ago and had a solid pro debut at both complex levels. He’ll probably settle on a corner and has above-average offensive potential, but he needs to tighten his strike zone a bit. Acosta doesn’t have a plus tool, but he can hit and play shortstop, so if he makes one more jump in ability, he could be an everyday player.
Others of note
Walcott signed last month for $3.2 million. A 6-4 Bahamian who is both a powerful and agile athlete, he will have massive raw power, and already features a plus arm and solid average speed. He will probably settle on a corner, but don’t expect him to move quickly; he’s raw even among the 16-year-olds who just signed — though he also has one of the highest upsides. Moller has plus power and pitch selection along with just enough raw defensive ability to project him to stick behind the plate, but his approach means strikeouts and low averages.
Two speedy athletes stand out in this group for me, in Blackmon (plus-plus runner and former wide receiver — has sneaky pop, but needs to cut down on the strikeouts) and Pollard (second base or center field, an 80 runner who took a huge jump last spring in high school with a much-improved swing). Saggese is a hit-over-power middle infielder who was lightly scouted in high school (he seems like the type that the Rays or Guardians always draft).
Osuna fits best in left field and needs to mash to be a useful big leaguer but he got to High-A as a teenager on the strength of a plus hit tool and excellent approach. His raw power is just average, so there’s not much margin for error on his path to being a corner utility type. Ragans has had two Tommy John surgeries but is about to graduate from prospect-dom still throwing in the low-90s and relying on his plus changeup and plus command. McCarty’s velocity popped in the fall — he sat 90-94 during the season and his sinker is now into the mid-90s with regularity. If it holds up throughout 2023, the added arm speed also could tick up the quality of his slider (already solid-average before).